Sweeteners and food ingredients group Tate & Lyle said that adjusted operating profits in the second quarter were in line with expectations but slightly below last year due to softness in the US beverage sector.
The company said this was as a result of the cold spring and slow start to the summer which has affected sweetener volumes in both divisions in the three months ended September 30th.
In the Speciality Food Ingredients (SFI) division, volume growth was in line with the wider market as a strong performance in the emerging markets and Europe was partially offset by lower volumes in the States across its higher-margin speciality sweeteners.
"This, together with lower selling prices for Splenda Sucralose, is expected to result in operating profit in this division being broadly in line with the prior year period in constant currency."
Meanwhile in Bulk Ingredients, operating profits have fallen year-on-year due to lower US bulk-liquid sweetener volumes.
Nevertheless, Tate maintained its guidance for "another year of profitable growth" in the year to March 2014.
Progress is expected in the SFI division with growth targeted in volumes, sales and profits across all regions, while trading in Bulk Ingredients remains in the second half is expected to improve year-on-year.
"Our profits remain sensitive to fluctuations in foreign currency particularly the US dollar
to sterling exchange rate. In addition, as usual, the outcome of the calendar year sweetener pricing rounds will influence performance in the final quarter of the financial year."
Tate & Lyle's first-half results will be released on November 7th.
Firestone Diamonds reported that full year losses narrowed by 52 per cent to 14.5m pounds after its revenues jumped thanks to robust diamond prices.
The AIM-listed diamond miner, with operations focused on Lesotho and Botswana, said its corporate expense bill fell 17% in the year to the end of June while its care and maintenance costs halved.
Firestone operates a pilot plant at the Liqhobong mine in Lesotho but plans to shut this down in the fourth quarter to make way for the construction of a main treatment plant. The company aims to become a 1m plus carat per annum producer from 2016.
The pilot plant recovered 156,000 carats in the year to the end of June, down from 164,000 in the previous year. But it sold 166,712 carats at an average price of $93 a carat generating revenues of $15.5m.
Firestone tapped the market for £3.8m in August and appointed Stuart Brown as Chief Executive designate last month. He will take the reins in December.
Investec analysts said: "This company's shareholders have been diluted time after time with several equity issues in recent times. Financing discussions are well advanced regarding building the full scale Liqhobong mine and this at least is positive news."